The increasingly restricted access TasPorts is imposing on the port of Stanley is coming to a head.
Member for Murchison Ruth Forrest last week wrote to the Minister for Infrastructure Michael Ferguson to intervene on the matter.
“The Stanley Port is an important community asset that [has been] part of the culture and recreational activities of Circular Hear residents and visitors to the region for many years,” Ms Forrest said.
“Over recent years access has been increasingly restricted by TasPorts to many areas used by locals and tourists for recreational purposes.
“There is a growing level of community frustration due to TasPorts’ lack of community engagement and willingness to work with the local community to ensure full value of these assets is available not only to locals, but also to the growing number of tourists and this needs to change.”
The matter has been on Stanley Chamber of Commerce’s agenda for a number of years, according to chairperson Bernard Atkins.
“A lot of people come to Stanley because they can fish off a wharf and they can’t elsewhere,” Mr Atkins said.
“Stanley was founded on this port, it is an important part of our history and local’s history: I remember afternoons fishing off this wharf with my dad catching trevalla.”
Mr Atkins noted safety issues should be taken seriously but suggested a more proactive approach to the issue.
“TasPorts are not putting money in to fix it,” Mr Atkins said.
“There are some major jobs no doubt, but some are simple jobs. TasPorts are not willing to spend the money.”
Mr Atkins said a cement slab which looks to have dropped a few centimetres seemed to be the reasoning behind the closed access.
“Why are we shutting down a profitable wharf?” he said.
“We’re talking about cruise ships coming in, more money for all of Circular Head. This closure is impacting our local businesses.”
Mr Atkins urged the state government owned business to prioritise works on the wharf to get the precinct up to scratch for commercial and recreational use and provide limited and disabled access.
“We want to work together on this,” Mr Atkins said, inviting a representative of TasPorts to join the chamber as an associate member.
The Stanley Chamber of Commerce has the biggest membership base in Tasmania, boasting 41 full members and several associate members including state and federal politicians.
TasPorts was contacted for comment.
Stanley Chamber of Commerce chairperson Bernard Atkins is unimpressed by the state of the port in Stanley and is urging TasPorts to undertake urgent maintenance and upgrades to allow for it to reopen.